Max charged his way into our lives a year and a half ago, sniffing his way through our house like a spy on a mission. Even though he was only with us for a short while, he made quite the impact.
Max was a “talker” – he had a grumbly/growly way of letting you know that he was there and that he wanted something – NOW. We called him a grumpy guy, because he sounded like a grumpy old man. And sometimes he could be just as hard to please. He would grumble to be picked up – and then grumble at you when you complied.
Max Showing his cute grumpy face
Mornings with Max were the best. Every day when the alarm went off, Max would do his best Tigger impersonation – bouncing all over the bed until he eventually landed on my chest, planted two paws on my shoulders, and stuck his tongue up my nose. Yikes. Good Morning! On weekends, when there was no need for an alarm, Max still woke up every day before six and “bounced” me awake.
Most mornings, while I took a shower, Max waited patiently on a towel on the floor in front of the tub. Every once in a while, he would peek his head around the edge of the shower curtain. Just checking. Are you done yet? (Of course, immediately after the shower, the towel would have to be picked up or Max would pee on it. He seemed completely incapable of distinguishing between grass and any kind of floor covering.)
Max with big brother Chip
Max was never able to jump up on the any of the furniture – unless he used our big dog, Chip, as a springboard, and that only happened once or twice before he learned the consequences weren’t worth the thrill of achieving a spot on the couch. But he never seemed to lose hope that someday, SOMEDAY, he would make it. He would give himself a running start - from a room away - and hurl himself at the couch with all his might, only to fall short. And he really seemed puzzled each time that it didn’t work. Then he would stand on his hind legs with his front paws on the couch and hop up and down – grumbling, of course – until you picked him up.
When we had our house painted last summer, we had to take the mailbox down. So, the mailman started using the mail slot in our front door. This was fun new game for Max. He liked to “help” the mailman by pulling the mail all the way through the slot and then shredding it. After the second day of playing tug of war with a very determined little dog, the mailman began to just leave the mail inside the screen door. Smart mailman. I could always tell when we had a substitute, because I would come home to a hallway filled with shredded mail.
We still have no mailbox. We want to put it on a post, but the ground froze before I got around to having it installed. Now I guess we don’t need one. The mail is safe enough with Chip and Milo. But I think I’ll put one up anyway. It can be my little monument to Max – reminding us of all the fun and frustration he brought to our house when he charged in that first day and stole…our hearts.
Max, June, 2005
Max was a little thief. He loved to steal things, although he usually just dragged them off somewhere and abandoned them. (Where Chip would find them and try to eat them.) Except for his favorite prize – underpants. Max had a real penchant for underpants. Somehow, he would manage to fish them out of a laundry hamper
that was taller than he was and then off he’d go. We were always finding underpants in the oddest places – piles of them in his bed, tucked under bookcases, and – horrors! – in the front hallway. If my daughters didn’t close the door to the bathroom all the way when they were taking a shower (difficult to do in an old house), Max would sneak in, rummage through the pile of clothes they had left sitting on the toilet seat, and make off with their underpants. I can’t even count how many times I heard from the bathroom: “Max, get out of here. Max, you get away from those. Max, drop ‘em. Max, you get back here. MAX, you little PERVERT!” They would come out of the bathroom, soaking wet, wrapped in a towel, fuming. “It’s not funny! Why can’t you train your dog?” To which I replied, “Yes, it is funny. And why can’t you be trained to hang your clothes on the hook?” I’d retrieve their underpants, now abandoned, and hand them over. “Well, I don’t want them now. Gross!”